Another Book Sculpture

Here’s another book sculpture that I created for a book arts class. I could never fully decide what it was. A grassy knoll? Well, that seems too obvious. A monster under the carpet? I like that idea. Yes, something to do with a crocodile or porcupine. I believe I called it Landscape when I displayed it at an art show last year, but I could change the title.

This piece plays with repetition and variation: repetition in form and structural elements, variation in color. As with my Bookworm sculpture, I could make it on a larger scale, increase the repetition, cover a whole room with this blanket of paper and rafia. It certainly would make for an unusual Landscape.

2012-07-29T20:38:26+00:00 January 31st, 2012|Fine Art|1 Comment

Bookworm

Evidently, I like books. I don’t think it’s a problem yet, but it’s certainly an addiction which could lead to serious headache whenever I move. We have three tall book cases in our apartment. They’re already filled to the brim, and I have to use a full body slam to cram a book back into its place on the shelf. Clothing is one thing. I see a pair of jeans beginning to fray in uncomfortable places, and (eventually) I muster enough courage to give them away or, what’s probably better for everyone, pitch them. But books…what do you do with books when you’re not ready to settle down and build a library with your smoking jacket and pipe on hand?

More recently, I’ve discovered the beauty of books as sculpture. (Uh oh, does this mean I’ll be holding on to more books? Yes, probably. Such is life.) In this art form, the content usually isn’t as important as the shape and form of the book itself. In creating book sculptures of my own, I’ve noticed that repetition makes for a more impressive work. Below are photographs of my mixed media sculpture, Bookworm. It took many repetitve strokes of folding paper, pushing needle, and pulling thread to create the length of the book. I think I could push the repetition and keep going to make the sculpture longer.

Click on these artists to see other captivating examples of books as sculpture:

Cara Barer

Ania Gilmore

Georgia Russell

 

2012-07-29T20:39:11+00:00 January 23rd, 2012|Fine Art|1 Comment

Black and White: Ink and Cross-hatching

I admire those who can create successful drawings with cross-hatching. It still feels a little unatural to me, but I love the way it looks. Maurice Sendak over the years has made plenty of dynamic children’s books using cross-hatching techniques, and of course, Maurice Sendak rules. Below you’ll find a couple of drawings I did in an illustration class to practice cross-hatching. To make the top one, I traced photographs of actual statues and filled in the darker values with hatching, cross-hatching, and dark lines. The bottom composition is one of my favorites. I enjoy conceptualizing fantastical hybrid creatures and feel as if I could do a whole series of these. What do you see in this one? There are other scientific drawings of combo-creatures in the portfolio section of this site, if you want to take a look around. Enjoy!

Two Statues Looking at Something Interesting

Two Statues Looking at Something Interesting, ink on vellum

 

Hybrid Creature, ink on drawing paper

Hybrid Creature, ink on drawing paper

2012-08-01T23:21:29+00:00 January 14th, 2012|Children's Books, Illustration, Studies|1 Comment

Black and White: More Moody Charcoal Drawings

Charcoal can also create a terribly moody effect. Sometimes I revel in the moody.

These two drawings come from a more difficult time in my life. They are somewhat autobiographical–primarily in the emotion portrayed.

I find it interesting that I can produce such vibrant, colorful works, yet also see raw emotions come from the same hand.

 

Space, charcoal on drawing paper

Space, charcoal on drawing paper

Insomnia, charcoal on drawing paper

Insomnia, charcoal on drawing paper

2012-08-01T23:22:08+00:00 January 10th, 2012|Fine Art|0 Comments

Black and White: Charcoal Portraits

I have always been one to love getting dirt under my fingernails. Perhaps that’s why charcoal is so appealing to me. I can’t be shy with this medium. No, sir.  Rather, I have to get my hands dirty and form strokes and shading from my whole upper body. Charcoal is freeing. I’m less analytical and more expressive in using it.

Voilà! Charcoal drawings by me:

Charcoal portrait

Charcoal Portrait 1

Charcoal Portrait 2

Charcoal Portrait 2 

Charcoal Portrait 3

Charcoal Portrait 3

2012-08-01T23:22:41+00:00 January 7th, 2012|Fine Art|0 Comments

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

To challenge myself (I mean, to give myself a healthy dose of blood, sweat, and tears) I decided to create a book dummy. A book dummy is a mock-up version of a book–in this case, a children’s book. It’s something illustrators often do to demonstrate how they would lay out their illustrations in a full-length book. When I went to the SCBWI summer conference last August, I saw plenty of book dummies on display. I also attended a workshop on the subject. I thought it might be a great way to illustrate consistent characters in a sequence. So here I am, several months later, now realizing just what I got myself into. But, I love it. I love project-based work. I love to see a whole world take shape from a single thought.

I chose to create a book dummy using Wanda Gág’s original text, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I chose it because it seemed like a well-known story, yet not cliché. This particular text does not follow the storyline of Disney’s version (brooms with arms, etc.) so I thought it would allow me some space to create a new and different body of work.

I thought it best to start by illustrating to completion three main points in the story: one at the beginning, middle, and end. I’m still in this phase of the project. Once I’m finished with these illustrations, I hope to make pencil drawings for the rest of the text.

So now, what you’ve all been waiting for…

My Process for the First Spread of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (in pictures)

Boy Sketch

Character Sketches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots and lots of sketches to work out the nuances, expressions, and shapes of the characters.

Boy Character Study

Character Study

A character turn around helps me to practice consistency and explore color.

Spread 1 Thumbnails

Spread 1 Thumbnails

Artists love thumbnails! Or at least I do. I sketch on a small scale how I intend to lay out the page. I explore angle, perspective, decorative elements.

Spread 1 Drawing

Spread 1 Drawing

The final drawing (after drawing and drawing). I keep a version of the final line drawing so that I can easily reproduce it for extra studies.

Spread 1 Value Study

Spread 1 Value Study

Value studies help to locate where the color value will lead the viewer. The area with the most contrast tends to be the focal spot for the eye.

Spread 1 Color Study

Spread 1 Color Study

Didn’t quite get to the end of this color study, but I could see that I wanted more vibrant colors and less gray hues in the characters’ clothing.

Spread 1 Inked and Painted

Spread 1 Inked and Painted

The final illustration! Inked, watercolored, and with a little bit o’ conté crayon. And sheep!